Read the searing first novel from the celebrated author of Beloved, which immerses us in the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family in post-Depression 1940s Ohio.
Unlovely and unloved, Pecola prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged white schoolfellows. At once intimate and expansive, unsparing in its truth-telling, The Bluest Eye shows how the past savagely defines the present. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterised her writing.
‘She revealed the sins of her nation, while profoundly elevating its canon. She suffused the telling of blackness with beauty, whilst steering us away from the perils of the white gaze. That’s why she told her stories. And why we will never, ever stop reading them’ Afua Hirsch
‘Discovering a writer like Toni Morrison is rarest of pleasures’ Washington Post
‘When she arrived, with her first novel, The Bluest Eye, she immediately re-ordered the American literary landscape’ Ben Okri
Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction
Not only a story but an awe-inspiring poem that confronts beauty itself.
So charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry
I imagine if our greatest American novelist, William Faulkner, were alive today he would herald Toni Morrison's emergence as a kindred spirit... Discovering a writer like Toni Morrison is the rarest of pleasures
The Bluest Eye is a fine book, a lament for all starved and stunted children everywhere
Morrison's style rivets the reader...her synaesthetic, often rhythmic, even chanting prose recalls both Faulkner and Emily Dickinson
Fancy reading something scary this year, but not sure which level of spook to go for? Here are the best ghoulish reads, ranked in order of thrill.
In the depths of winter books can offer escape and solace from the season, as these beautifully chilly quotes show.